Michelle Obama to open Special Olympics in Los Angeles

Los Angeles, June 26 (IANS) United States First Lady Michelle Obama will come here next month to attend the opening ceremony of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games slated for July 25.

Obama, an advocate of physical fitness and healthy lifestyle, will take part in the opening ceremony to be held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, site of the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics, reports Xinhua.

“Her vision of wellness, fitness and inclusion of all in sport is at the heart of Special Olympics,” said Special Olympics chairman Tim Shriver on Thursday.

Yao Ming, a retired Chinese professional basketball player who used to play for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA), and Michael Phelps, an American competition swimmer, are expected to be among celebrities to attend the opening festivities. Performers such as Stevie Wonder, Avril Lavigne will perform at the opening ceremony.

The Special Olympics features athletes with intellectual disabilities competing in such sports as swimming, basketball, track and field, and gymnastics.

The nine-day Special Olympics, with about 7,000 athletes participating in 26 different sports, is expected to be the largest sports event Californian capital has hosted since the 1984 Summer Olympics. The competition events are expected to attract 500,000 spectators.

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